Open letter from John McDonnell MP

Comrades and friends

We are writing to you and to urge sponsorship and more general support for the Hands Off the People of Iran solidarity event on May 12. (See http://hopoi.org/?p=1195 for details).

Jafar Panahi – the well known Iranian film maker – was arrested on March 1 and is still being held without any charges. He has twice been offered bail, but has refused in solidarity with all those incarcerated for their participation in the mass demonstrations against the regime that have shaken Iran since June 2009 (for more information, see http://hopoi.org/?p=1148)

The Labour Representation Committee has added its voice to those demanding the release of Jafar Panahi and all political prisoners in Iran. The Hopi showing of the director’s most popular film in the West – ‘Offside’ – is an important opportunity to raise the profile of Panahi and step up the pressure on the regime in Tehran. We believe that international solidarity of this sort – not the threat of military strikes or sanctions – is the way to deliver effective aid to the struggle of ordinary people in Iran for freedom and social change.

–       Can you sponsor the event and send a donation to defer costs?

–       Can you take tickets to sell?

–       Could your organisation take publicity material to circulate in your regular mailouts?

–       Perhaps you can feature an advert for the evening on your website?

Any help you can offer to this important cause would be gratefully received! You can send cheques and postal orders to Hopi, PO Box 54631, London N16 8YE or use the Paypal button on http://www.hopoi.org.

In solidarity

John McDonnell

PS: All profits from the event will be donated to the charity Workers Fund Iran, which works to “reduce and relieve poverty amongst Iranian workers (both employed and unemployed) who are victims both of the economic policies of the Iranian regime and sanctions” (www.workersfund. org).

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